Friday, January 5, 2007


If you have not read Manhunter 27 spoilers follow.

I want to share some thoughts on what I think is one of the best comics being published by DC at the moment: Manhunter. I was in the store today telling Tug that I would love to see a meeting between Kate Spencer and another of my favorite DC characters of recent years Sasha Bordeaux. I get to home to read this months issue of Manhunter and who shows up? Sasha Bordeaux! Were they reading my mind? That’s eerie. This comic literally gave me exactly what I wanted! I hope all of you reading this are picking up Manhunter because it’s a terrific book and sadly overlooked. It was cancelled earlier this year and then given a reprieve due to enthusiastic fans writing DC. I wasn’t one of them but I’m glad for their efforts.

If you aren’t reading and/or are completely unfamiliar Manhunter is a divorced single mom named Kate Spencer who works as an attorney. Busy as this keeps her she is also a costumed vigilante named, you guessed it, Manhunter. The character Manhunter has been with DC since the Golden Age though Kate Spencer is a relatively new character created by Marc Andreyko and Jesus Saiz. There are many things I like about this series such as making elements of the DCU from the nineties that were not very popular or are generally not highly regarded cool aspects of the book. There is one courtroom scene where a defense attorney asks Hawkman which version of Hawkman he is and how he works and Hawkman can’t answer him! Cameron Chase, the Darkstars, and Azreal are all nineties characters that pop up at some point. I found myself blown away by the most recent issue when former Manhunter, Mark Shaw is taken to the castle of the Knights of the Order of Saint Dumas. I actually said, “oh, shit. It’s the Order of Saint Dumas!” as I was reading. And I meant that in a good way not in the, “oh, shit. It’s the Order of Saint Dumas” way I said it around 1996 when the Order of Saint Dumas seemed the pinnacle of lameness.

Manhunter also reminds me in some ways of what may be my favorite comic series of all time, the nineties Starman series. Starman took a character that had been around forever in several incarnations and tied them together and streamlined the legacy while at the same time creating a new compelling character, Jack Knight. (I’ll probably get around to talking about Starman more at some point in the future). Andreyko ties together the Manhunter legacy a bit differently than Starman did but still very effectively. He kills most of them off. Also like Starman Kate is tied into DC history with family connections. She is the granddaughter of Iron Munro and Sandra Knight and cousin to Jack Knight himself. Yea!

There are many other reasons to love this book the main one being that it’s about an interesting character, with a solid supporting cast that presents a fresh and unusual perspective on superheroes.

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